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Thousands of 'Guild Wars 2' accounts hacked

Guild Wars 2
Hackers have managed to take over more than 11,000ArenaNet

It seems "Guild Wars 2" — the brand new and increasingly popular online role-playing game that pits players against dragons (and other foes) — is facing down some dark forces of its own.

ArenaNet — the company behind the massively multiplayer online game — has told players that hackers are actively trying to get into accounts and appear to have cracked more than 11,000 already.

"Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and websites, and collected through spyware, and are systematically testing 'Guild Wars 2' looking for matching accounts," ArenaNet staff wrote on this wiki page tracking the issue.

As ArsTechnica first reported, from last Friday to Sunday, officials said they received about 8,500 support requests related to hacked accounts, with another 2,574 requests by Monday.

ArenaNet officials say they are ramping up customer support to help deal with the issue and have added 28 new team members, with more to come in an attempt to handle customer issues quickly. Hacking reports are being given a priority.

Part of the problem stems from a "Guild Wars" fan site that announced that its database had been breached. But ArenaNet officials said that it is "just one of many apparent breaches of other games and websites that hackers have been collecting email addresses and passwords from."

Meanwhile, ArenaNet is using an email authentication system that should help prevent some of the hacking attempts.

"If you see email authentication messages in your inbox asking you to approve a login that you didn't initiate and from someplace you don't recognize, that's a sign that a hacker knows your account name and password, and is only being prevented by the email authentication feature from accessing your account," officials explained.

And they warn players to make sure they are using a unique password that has never been used anywhere else. (For more tips on keeping your account secure, check out this link.)

Not surprisingly, the "Guild Wars 2" forums are littered with players discussing experiences like this one:

"I need help in restoring my account. Someones taken all my items, gold, ore and gems and pretty much left me with nothing," writes a player going by the name Gargoyle.

And then there's this one:

"My girl friends account was hacked last night and now the hacker is in game playing her account and there is nothing I can do but watch him defile the gift I gave her," writes a player by the name Sneakster. "Take note he has already changed her email address, changed her server, and will not reply to whispers while he chain farms WVW."

Via ArsTechnica

Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti, and you canfollow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.